Source: Best Health magazine, October 2013; Image: Thinkstock
Animal lovers naturally want to keep their companions healthy and happy, and technology gurus are answering the call. Pet-centric smartphone apps make it easy to have key information at your fingertips. Dr. Jean Gauvin, a Montreal small-animal veterinarian and vice-president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, recommends these apps for tech-savvy pet ‘parents.’
Pet First Aid: For Your Dog, Cat, Puppy or Kitten
Emergency situations’such as choking, lacerations and burns’can strike your pet anywhere, any time. Downloading the Pet First Aid app (Android, $2.97; iPhone, $3.99) will unleash a comprehensive database of health information right onto your smartphone, providing a potentially life-saving reference tool. ‘This app is a good on-the-go resource,’ says Gauvin. Once loaded, it doesn’t require an Internet connection.
Pet Care Services
Gauvin says this app (iPhone, free) is a must-have if you travel with your pet. Using GPS, it will locate the nearest vet clinics, pet-friendly hotels, groomers and pet stores across Canada and the U.S. Phone or email nearby emergency clinics, and view directions using Google maps.
PupTox (Android, $0.99; iPhone, $0.99) lists more than 250 items that can harm or kill your pet if ingested, including food, plants, chemicals, and common hazards such as coins, batteries and bones. ‘You’ll know right away if there’s a possibility of toxicity or seizures,’ says Gauvin. The chocolate toxicity calculator uses your pet’s weight, type of chocolate and amount consumed to determine a level of toxicity. Plus, the app provides one-click phone access to poison hotlines (fee involved for hotlines).
The iPhone and Android pet-naming apps (Android, free; iPhone, free) are created by different companies but both will help you find the ideal name for cats, dogs, birds, gerbils and even turtles. Pet Names for iPhone allows you to browse by alphabetical listing, pet type or popularity; browse by list or at random for Android.
Pet Master Pro
Eco-friendly’no paper records!’and convenient, the Pet Master Pro app (iPhone, free; Android, $4.99) manages all of your pet’s information including vaccinations, medications, identification numbers, insurance details and weight history. ‘If you’re away with your pet and he gets sick, you’ve got his medical records to show the vet,’ says Gauvin. Owners must enter the information into the app, but once the legwork is complete, your furry friend’s health history is with you wherever you go.
This article was originally titled “Be a plugged in pet owner” in the October 2013 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!